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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: Last Night with the Duke by Amelia Grey

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Could finding love be his greatest scandal of all?
The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling around London that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind--until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.

Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride in Last Night with the Duke, the first novel in the brand-new Regency Rakes of St. James series by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.

What’s it About? A playboy duke, in this case, the Duke of Griffin is forced to hire an above reproach chaperone for his twin sisters so that they don’t suffer for his bad decisions. Enter said chaperone, Miss Esmeralda Swift whom the duke takes a fancy to and from that point on is a game of flirtation and romance that may or may not lead to a happy ending for these two.

Overall reaction to the book? Last Night with the Duke sounds like a pretty good read, there’s the unrepentant rake, and the innocent but intriguing miss thrown together by fate or what have you. And for the most part it is a good read. But it had some elements that didn’t help the book be what it could have been.

The duke has his world turned upside down with the presence of Esmeralda in his life. I enjoyed his conflict, he should have to suffer a bit with his emotions after playing fast and loose for so long right? He also had to care about his sisters at least a little in order to justify hiring a chaperone for them right? Well here’s the first issue I had with this book, he hardly spends time with his sisters, in fact there is barely any relationship between them beyond the social niceties that are required. So why would he want to hire a chaperone if he didn’t really have a relationship with them? Why would he care about their reputations? The evidence says he doesn’t because he hires Esmeralda because he thinks she’s beautiful, not because she’s qualified to do the job. Way to think with the wrong head there buddy. He’s not particularly likable for a good portion of the book but I think that had to do with the feeling that this character was just running in circles until it was time for him to fall in love with Esmeralda. Instead of growing into hero material, he kind of stays stagnant for too long to ever really get a good feel of who he is aside from an arrogant duke.

And Esmeralda, while a stand up for yourself kind of girl, didn’t really convince me that she was the woman for the job, either as a chaperone or a duke’s wife. She spent too much time longing for the life she felt she should have had instead of really making a go out of the life she was living. Her sister was another negative for me as she was such a brat and didn’t have many if any redeeming qualities.

But one of the biggest problems for me was the inconsistency of the pace in Last Night with the Duke. The beginning is so dang slow it’s almost a turtle’s pace. A whole lot of nothing going on with subplots that go nowhere had me rethinking my commitment to reading the entire book. Then at around the 60% mark things start speeding up until it felt like I was being shot through a canon to the ending which wrapped EVERYTHING up much too quickly for my liking. Esmeralda and her Duke barely had a real romance, much less anything really steamy happening between them for 80% of the book. Not really my cup of tea.

Click It or Skip It? Skip It. The blurb sounded better than the actual story. I would check out this author again though since I read an enjoyed a novella of hers.

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